Longtime city human services coordinator retires

January 22, 2013

Longtime city employee Steve Gierke retired last month after serving as human services coordinator and in numerous other roles at City Hall.

Gierke most recently oversaw a broad human services portfolio — the City Council funds dozens of organizations and programs each year — and served as the liaison between the city administration and the Human Services Commission.

In early 2010, council members considered eliminating the human services coordinator position, but retained the position after realizing the extent of Gierke’s contributions.

Read more

Issaquah food bank hires new executive director

January 25, 2011

Board selects former Bellingham parks employee for role

Cori Kauk, the new executive director at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, takes a moment for a smile on her first day of work Jan. 18 at the downtown facility. By Greg Farrar

Cori Kauk arrived to handshakes, hugs and flowers to start in the top job at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank last week.

Read more

Consultant hired to lead food bank director search

October 26, 2010

Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank leaders have decided to search the Pacific Northwest for the next leader of the food pantry.

The nonprofit organization has hired the recruiter behind the successful search for a city administrator to conduct the effort. Headhunter Greg Prothman has plans to recruit candidates throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The job opening is also posted online, so the search could attract candidates from beyond the region.

The position requires “someone who is really good with board members, who is really good at understanding the numbers and seeing the picture as well having the passion for helping folks,” he said. “Those are really the key characteristics that came forward.”

The food bank has not had a manager since longtime Executive Director Cherie Meier departed at the end of August — less than a year after a Seattle consultant offered a long list of recommendations meant to improve service.

The report suggested that the executive director role be redefined to focus less on food donations and more on fundraising and community outreach.

Read more

Council keeps human services coordinator

April 13, 2010

City Human Services Coordinator Steve Gierke will remain on the job, the City Council decided last week.

The council authorized $23,250 to fund the position, as well as a recording secretary to attend city Human Services Commission meetings, through December. Gierke, as a consultant contracted by the city rather than a full-time employee, does not receive city benefits.

Gierke oversees a broad human services portfolio — the council funds 31 agencies and 37 programs — and serves as the liaison to the Human Services Commission.

Officials ordered a study last fall to determine if the city needed a human services coordinator, or if other city employees could pick up the tasks. The council agreed to spend $10,000 to fund the position through early 2010.

The study determined the tasks assigned to Gierke could not be reassigned to other staffers. Officials cut the municipal workforce by 10 percent last year though layoffs, a hiring freeze and a severance program.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and council members will decide whether to fund the human services position for 2011 when the budget process starts in October.

City Council to decide funding for human services coordinator

March 30, 2010

City Council members will decide next week whether Issaquah should continue to keep a human services guru on the city payroll. Read more

Microsoft layoffs here, too

February 3, 2009

Big local businesses, like Starbucks and Washington Mutual Bank, have been cutting employee costs for months, and Microsoft is joining their ranks.

Worldwide, 1,400 employees were laid off from the company Jan. 22. Up to 3,600 additional layoffs are expected within the year in areas such as marketing, legal, human resources, information technology, finance, sales, and research and development, a Jan. 22 press release from the company said. Read more